Thanks to Darwin: Mark A. Throntveit and Alan G. Padgett of Luther Seminary argue that Darwin’s work frees us to read the Bible on its own terms and helps us to realize that science and the Bible have different, and not necessarily conflicting, agendas. “Science seeks answers to questions of what and how, while biblical interpretation seeks answers to questions of who and why.” The Genesis accounts of creation are less about the origins of creation and more about the ordering of chaos and forming of relationship with us humans (Word & World, Winter).
Forget retirement: Because no one can afford to retire, says columnist Gail Collins, we should get used to the idea of a 75-year-old person fixing our car or removing our tonsils. In fact, we should start thinking of everyone as 20 years younger than they actually are. “Then you will feel much better when the 80-year-old postman delivers your mail and it includes a request for money from your 38-year-old offspring doing post-post-post-doctoral work at Ohio State” (New York Times, February 12).
Spin cycle: The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials recently approved a national network of bi cycle paths and lanes of over 50,000 miles. Called the U.S. Bicycle Route System, it will largely incorporate existing trails and roadways. The success of the system will depend on state highway departments and agencies that oversee roads and trails (Bicycling, March).
What Abe might say: Lincoln biographer Ronald C. White Jr. imagines what counsel Lincoln might give President Obama: Write your own speeches, especially the major ones. Take time for contemplation and reflection amidst the pressures of the office. Don’t rush into solutions for the formidable problems. Value ambiguity, the ability to see reality in its complexity—that is a sign of humility, not weakness (Wilson Quarterly, Winter).
Signs of the times: An atheist group in the United Kingdom is posting signs on buses that say: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” An American group posted a similar message on buses in Washington, D.C.: “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake” (New York Times).